Before they were famous, many truly influential men and women started by serving their country in the US military or grew up in military families.

More than Military

Chief Justice, United States Supreme Court

Like millions of American veterans, William H. Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, attended college after World War II with the support of scholarship money from the GI Bill.

Using his GI Bill benefits, Rehnquist attended Stanford, earning both a Bachelors and Master of Arts degree in political science. He continued his education at Harvard where he received another Master of Arts degree, in government.

At law school, Rehnquist began his participation in the Republican Party, campaigning for Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater during the 1964 elections. When Richard Nixon rose to the presidency, the Nixon administration chose Rehnquist as Supreme Court Justice Harlan's replacement and on January 7, 1972, Rehnquist took the oath of office.

William H. Rehnquist's service on the Supreme Court allowed him to direct a dramatic transition in political ideology.

Rehnquist was outspoken, battling against the expansion of federal powers and advocating a strong vision of state's rights and advocating gay rights and free speech. By 1986, Rehnquist held significant persuasive power. After Chief Justice Burger retired from the Court, President Reagan nominated Rehnquist to replace him as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

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